Xiao Fuxing: A Chance Encounter by the Lilac Bush

Wen|Xiao Fuxing

One day this spring, when I went to the Temple of Heaven, I didn’t expect that there would be so many people when it wasn’t a day off. Most of them go to see lilac flowers. At this time, the Xifu Begonia has fallen, and the wisteria has not yet bloomed, which is a good time for the lilac to bloom alone.

All the flowers in the Temple of Heaven are newly planted in the past few decades. The Temple of Heaven was built in the Ming Dynasty as a holy altar for the royal sacrifice to heaven. Today, this lilac bush is 100 meters long, and it has become a famous place for lilac viewing in Beijing, covering the former net red lilac flower sea of ​​Fayuan Temple.

Although I have come to the Temple of Heaven so many times, I have missed the lilac blooming season. This is the first time I have seen the lilac blooming in the Temple of Heaven. In my memory, the lilacs here are purple, but the front is as white as snow. It seems that memory is unreliable. Today, there are more and more unreliable things.

From the south to the north, across the sea of ​​lilac flowers, like snowflakes, the rich floral fragrance is refreshing, but snowflakes do not have it. There are many tourists, shoulder to shoulder, all of them are taking pictures, and the popularity is better than that in front of the Hall of Prayer for the New Year. There is a row of benches on the west side of the lilac bush. Most of the people sitting there are tired from taking pictures and rest;

After turning around for a while, I came here and saw that the bench was almost full of people, and only one old man was empty next to it. I sat next to him and greeted him politely. The old man was reading a book in his hands, raised his head and nodded at me as a return gift, and then lowered his head to read the book, looking very absorbed, as if there were some charming deer or fairy in the book, for fear that he would run away in an instant, never found again.

I was curious and asked the old man: What book do you read?

The old man ignored me, just lifted the cover of the book and showed me that it was Schopenhauer’s “The World as Will and Representation”. In the early years, the Commercial Press published a set of famous Chinese translations. This is one of them, with a white cover and an eye-catching title. The cover is a bit worn, dirty and dusty, obviously the book is old.

The old man saw the surprised look on my face, and seemed to be a little smug. He turned the pages of the book, as if to show it. Let me see, this is not a popular reading such as ordinary novels. I saw that each line of words on the page was outlined with dense red lines, and the page was full, all red lines, like red silk threads, tightly bound all the lines of words, so that a single word would not slip away.

Good guy, Schopenhauer, you are amazing! I can’t help but say.

The old man said something to me: You are amazing!

I don’t know what this means, is it to praise my praise for him, or to make fun of me for knowing Schopenhauer? I hurriedly said: what am I amazing, or you are amazing! You are an old book, you have read it a long time ago, and you are still reading it now, how amazing you are!

The old man smiled lightly, stopped talking, and looked down at his Schopenhauer.

I took out a pen and a notebook from my bag and began to draw a lilac bush. The two of us do not interfere with each other, one focuses on the lively present, the other is immersed in the distant past.

I don’t know when, a voice came from my ear: Grandpa, you draw really well!

I turned around and saw a little boy standing behind me, watching me draw.

Generally, when I paint in the Temple of Heaven, there will always be children who come to watch it. Children are curious, innocent and cute. I am very willing to talk to them, so that I will get pure and pure communication, and of course, I will also get their praise, which makes me feel an indescribable satisfaction. I can’t help but think of my childhood and my grandson far away abroad.

I handed him the drawing book and teased him: Do you think I can draw well?

He immediately said: You can draw this well, it’s really good! Better than a painter!

I laughed: You are really willing to use words to praise me so hard!

He also laughed: My mother said that when you talk to others, you should praise them more! This way people are happy and they will like you!

A woman sitting in a chair next to her spoke: When did I say this to you?

I just saw that the child’s mother was sitting there, looking at us with a smile.

The little boy ignored his mother, pointed to the picture book and said to me: It would be even better if you paint it again!

I said: Yes, I will buy the color when I get home and paint it!

The little boy smiled with satisfaction.

I asked him: How old are you?

I will be 10 years old in June.

You’re in fourth grade, why don’t you go to class today?

His mother answered for him next to him: In the morning, he said he had a stomachache. I called the teacher, and the teacher said that he would not use it today. In fact, I want to tell the teacher that if the child goes to school later, the stomachache is not a big deal. This is good, the child doesn’t go to school, I have to take a day off…

I said to the little boy: it’s just right if you don’t go, or your mother can’t bring you to see Lilac!

The little boy smiled. What little boy hasn’t skipped class? Skipping class satisfies the little boy’s yearning for freedom.

His mother said to him: Say goodbye to Grandpa, it’s time for us to go home for lunch!

The little boy jumped and ran away.

At noon, there were a lot fewer people in the lilac bushes, and the benches here were a lot more empty. I also plan to go to Baihuating and take a look around to see if the peony over there has flower bones. Seeing that the old man beside him was still reading carefully, he got up and left quietly without disturbing him.

After turning around, and walking past the lilac bushes, the old man was still reading his Schopenhauer. The rich lilac shadow, with spots, sprinkled all over him.